The Top Open Source Inventory And Warehouse Management Solutions (2021)

Published: 2 months ago

Are you looking for the best open source inventory management solution but don't know which one to pick? Don't fret. We've compiled a list of open-source inventory systems for people like you. 

We know that shipping out orders on time depends on two key things: accuracy and fast processing. But it's hard to achieve any of those things if you use the wrong inventory and warehouse management system. The good news is there are plenty of open-source inventory solutions that any business, regardless of its size, can use. We'll review some of those solutions in this blog. 

But before we do first things first:

What is an open source inventory management system?

There are many definitions of open-source inventory and warehouse systems. The easiest one is: open-source inventory software is any system available to individuals and businesses to use for free. What's good about open-source is that you can access its source code and make modifications. 

Once you configure it right, use it to manage, track, and process orders. Not only that. Some inventory solutions allow you to store such crucial information as serial numbers, barcodes, costs, and more.

Why does using open-source inventory software matter?

Using open-source inventory and warehouse management solutions offers many benefits to businesses. First, they enable business owners to accomplish all the inventory demands and automate the process.

While it is still possible to manage inventory on a spreadsheet in the first days, you will need software once you start getting more orders. It is a valuable tool to help you and your team manage inventory and ship out orders with little effort. Besides, using open-source inventory management software minimizes the possibility of human errors.

Any company that handles inventory needs a sound inventory system. It doesn't matter if it is raw materials, premium products, or perishable goods. You need a solution that will help you evaluate your inventory and tell you when is the best time to reorder. If you have surplus stock, you will also know and invest more resources in promoting slow-moving products. 

Example: Hilton Webber is the owner of Fountain Medical, a company that distributes premium baby products in Africa. Two years ago, Hilton's company started getting more orders. His warehouse team could no longer use a spreadsheet to process inventory, and they needed a solution that could automate the process and minimize human error. So Hilton looked for an open-source inventory system for his business. Things improved as Hilton's team spent less time processing and forecasting. 

This point brings us to the following crucial question:

Who can benefit from using open-source inventory systems?

Suppose your core business involves a great deal of handling stock. In that case, you will benefit from using open-source inventory systems, regardless of the kind of inventory or the size of your organization. But for you to benefit from using open-source, you need to pick the right solution. 

Types of business operations that need open-source inventory solutions:

  1. Wholesalers  - If you have a business that sells to retailers, you are a wholesaler. You will have one or more warehouses. So you need an inventory system. 
  2. Distribution companies - You ship goods to wholesalers, retailers, and consumers.
  3. Manufacturing companies - You sell finished products to wholesalers and retailers. And in most cases, you get orders overseas. 
  4. Retail businesses - You have an eCommerce and brick-and-mortar store. You sell to consumers. 

Consider one of the following open-source and warehouse management solutions: 

1. Partkeepr

PartKeepr will be perfect for any manufacturing business that manages a variety of inventory. It has an easy-to-use interface and is efficient in tracking any inventory. The only problem with it is that if you're unfamiliar with coding, you may not even be able to download the files. But there are plenty of FAQs videos to get you going. 

The best part: PartKeepr is open-source software, which means it is free and available to anyone. You can hire a developer to customize it to suit your business's needs. 

Features 

Partkeepr comes with the following features: 

  • Partkeepr has an advanced asset system that supports inventory tracking.
  • It has an intuitive dashboard.
  • You get a tabbed view.
  • It is easy to configure and install. 
  • It is privately hosted on Linux servers.
  • It comes with an excellent search feature.
  • It has a project management feature.
  • It supports fast full-text search.
  • You can import or export reports in CSV format.
  • You can run a parametric search. 
  • It has a stock tracking feature.
  • You can add custom fields.
  • There is a distributor manager function.
  • You can attach documents using a file attachment feature.

2. Odoo Inventory 

Odoo Inventory open-source is another seamless you should consider. What we like most about Odoo Inventory is that you can integrate it with other applications. When you want to track stock counts, incoming shipments, delivery orders, it is all possible with Odoo.

Odoo Inventory is one of those few versatile free software. You can use it to improve your warehouse's operations and increase your market share. Your warehouse manager can use Odoo Inventory to maximize inventory efficiency and avoid stockouts. 

While Odoo has no stock input, output, or transformation options, it is still best for improving processing and tracking inventory. 

Features 

Odoo comes with the following features:

  • Odoo Inventory allows you to customize it to suit your business operations.
  • It comes with a "make-to-order" (MTO) that will enable you to monitor stock levels.
  • You can integrate it with your barcode scanner machine.
  • You can use Odoo Inventory to trace product information.
  • It has a double-entry inventory management functionality. 
  • You update information in real-time. As your pickers and packers pick items, the system updates automatically. 
  • It has a modern user interface. 
  • Odoo can prepare delivery notes based on the availability of stock. 
  • It prepares cycle counts for you.
  • It can compare incoming orders to what you ordered from the supplier. 
  • What about dropshipping? Odoo allows you to deliver to customers straight from your supplier.  
  • Create custom barcodes with specific codes. 

3. ERPNEXT 

ERPNext is another open-source inventory that you should consider. It is a 100% open source ERP system can benefit verticals such as manufacturing, distribution, retail, and healthcare. There is a lot that you can use with ERPNext. You can track inventory levels, plan your manufacturing, do forecasts, and do tax calculations. 

The system is user-friendly, so your team won't have trouble using it. You can customize ERPNext to suit your business and make changes as your business grows. 

Features 

ERPNext has the following features that you can explore

  • It has a cross-compatibility that allows you to sync with other solutions. 
  • An inventory management feature.
  • It comes with a social network and messaging feature. 
  • You get a production planning functionality.
  • You get a leave and attendance management functionality.
  • You get an expense claim submission tool. 
  • There is an employee appraisal feature.
  • It comes with a reporting functionality. 
  • There is a multi-currency support feature.
  • You can connect it to your calendar.
  • You get a user-friendly interface. 
  • You log in time entries. 
  • It supports management reporting.
  • You can create sales quotes. 
  • You can do tax calculations. 
  • You can also use it to create websites. 

4. SnipeITApp

Are you looking for an open-source inventory system that offers SLA? Then it would be best if you considered Snipe-IT. It is an open-source system that you can configure to meet your business needs. You can use Snipe-IT to track licenses, hardware assets, and other accessories. As long as you hire a developer to maintain it for you, Snipe-IT won't disappoint you. 

What we like most about Snipe-IT is that it supports Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. You can also integrate it with your scanner and print barcodes for your products. What's more, Snipe-IT supports two-factor authentication using Google Authenticator. So you know that all your user accounts will be secure. 

Snipe-IT won't let you down whether you want to use it to manage IT assets or inventory. Thanks to its advanced asset management functionality, you can monitor all purchases easily.As a super administrator, you can decide who should access reports and requests

Features 

The core features of Snipe-IT are:

  • It offers web-based software, no need to install it.
  • Your data will be secure, thanks to Snipe-IT's encryption feature.
  • It supports one-click backup.
  • It is available in multiple languages. 
  • It is mobile-friendly, which means you can access it from your smartphone. 
  • It has an LDAP login/user sync functionality
  • You get JSON REST API.
  • You can integrate it with Slack. 

5. InvenTree

Go for InvenTree if you need an inventory system that helps you manage your inventory with little effort. It is suitable for businesses that are just starting, and you will love it for its easy-to-use interface. You and your team can access inventory level reports and know when is the best time to replenish. 

You can run InvenTree on Raspberry Pi SBC and get a straightforward setup with a lightweight SQLite database. Or hire a developer to have on the cloud using MySQL and PostgreSQL to support simultaneous users. This Python and Django tool will save your data in a relational database and serve it via a web browser. 

Features

InvenTree features include the following:

  • It allows you to arrange parts of your inventory to meet your business needs.
  • InvenTree's supplier management feature will enable you to create, change or delete vendors. 
  • You can get an instant view of your inventory levels.
  • The Bill of Material (BOM) functionality gives you a clear understanding of your stock.
  • It comes with a build management system that tracks the progress of your builds. 
  • You can use InvenTree to generate a wide range of reports. 
  • It has a RESTful API that you can use to integrate with other tools. 

6. Stockpile

Stockpile Inventory is a great inventory management tool that you should consider. It is free for every individual user or business to track and automate inventory management processes. Interestingly, it is quick and straightforward to install, and it will save you time and money and speed up the process of shipping out goods to your customers.

Features:

You will get the following features: 

  • It comes with a modern and easy-to-use interface.
  • It allows you to modify, delete and add inventory.
  • You can manage your inventory efficiently. 
  • You will enjoy great technical support.
  • It has features that let you download reports instantly.
  • You can add as many users as you want.

Conclusion

Managing inventory right is at the crux of growing a business. Yet, most business owners often forget that tracking and processing orders accurately without an inventory system is challenging. Hence, there are open-source systems that can make all those tasks easy. 

Odoo Inventory is one system that any entrepreneur serious about optimizing inventory management should implement. It comes with a myriad of features that will make warehouse management a breeze.

Example: Dennis Maple owns Paying My Bills, a Kenyan distribution company. His company distributes music instruments to retailers. His team struggles to track inventory manually, as customers sometimes order items that are out of stock. Every time warehouse administrators receive an order; they have to hand it to a picker to confirm it is out of stock—the process of checking stock delays Dennis' team to ship out stock on time. Customers start complaining about receiving orders three days later, and others even cancel orders. Come month-end, Dennis and his team are sitting with tons of orders that they have to void.

Then one friend suggested that Dennis implement the Odoo Inventory system. Dennis heeds the advice and hires a developer to configure it to suit his business. Things begin to improve. His warehouse administrators can now use Odoo Inventory to track stock counts, incoming shipments, delivery orders, all with the click of a button. 

As you can see, using open-source inventory management has a way of improving processes. But that depends on the IT company you hire to help you deploy the system for you. If you want great results, you won't just hire anyone. But you will go for a reputable company that has been doing it for you. 

Are you looking for a developer to help you implement an open-source inventory for your business? Reach out to us now! 

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